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Shabelle News

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Shabelle News

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The Shabelle Media Network was founded in 2002 in Merca, Somalia by a group of young Somali intellectuals. Its mission was to ensure that Somalis around the world remain abreast of developments within the Somali community and in touch with each other.[2]
The network’s first phase was focused on airing to Africa, Asia and Australia via Thaicom 3 satellite. In 2005, it expanded to include satellite broadcasts to North America and Europe.[2]
SMN’s Radio Shabelle slowly grew to become one of Somalia’s most respected privately owned radio stations,[3] airing from 6 a.m. to midnight.[4] It later relocated its headquarters to the national capital, Mogadishu.[2]
Prior to Mogadishu’s pacification by the Somali National Army in mid-2011, the independent Radio Shabelle, among other Somali media outlets, was frequently targeted by Islamist militants.[5] Among the casualties during this most volatile 2007-2011 period was Radio Shabelle’s acting manager, Bashir Nur Gedi, who was killed on October 19, 2007. In 2009, the station’s director Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe was also assassinated.[6]
After their ouster, the insurgents resorted to issuing death threats and targeted assassinations in order to discourage reporting on their activities.[7] Due to frustration at the increasing number of expatriate journalists returning to the capital after the relative improvement in security, the militants in 2012 intensified their anti-media campaign,[8] killing four SMN reporters during the year, including director Hassan Osman Abdi.[9]
Despite the attempted intimidation, journalists have persisted in covering the war beat.[7] Through membership in the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ), reporters are also spearheading a governmental initiative to reform the 2007 Somali media law.[10]
 



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